100 years ago the passenger pigeon went extinct

mobilehaathi

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Thought some of you might find this article interesting.

Possibly the most abundant bird ever to have existed, this gregarious pigeon once migrated in giant flocks that sometimes exceeded three billion, darkening the skies over eastern North America for days at a time. No wild bird in the world comes close to those numbers today. Yet 100 years ago this week, the very last pigeon of her kind died in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo. Her name was Martha, and her passing merits our close attention today.
 

Phil A.

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Thanks for that - it's an interesting read and really shows how destructive the human race can be to the earth's other inhabitants
 

ElectronGuru

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Thanks for that - it's an interesting read and really shows how destructive the human race can be to the earth's other inhabitants
Well, God didn't give the earth's other inhabitants, dominion over humans. What else are we supposed to do but take everything we want?
 

phrehdd

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Oct 25, 2008
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Shame that we lost these birds along with the Carolina Parakeet.

I'm sure there will be future articles about the loss of various wildcats, elephants, and more ... thanks to some human greed and stupidity.
 

Meister

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That is a fascinating story.

I might add that between 150 - 200 species become extinct every 24 hours. ;)
 

mobilehaathi

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The Anthropocene
Shame that we lost these birds along with the Carolina Parakeet.

I'm sure there will be future articles about the loss of various wildcats, elephants, and more ... thanks to some human greed and stupidity.
Ahh, yes, the Carolina Parakeet, the only parrot native to North America was declared extinct in 1939.

I would like to think that, regardless of political beliefs, we could all agree that the world around us is an invaluable resource worthy of care. We have an almost shocking amount of biodiversity---shocking at least to the modern urbanite. I fear that with the decline of the Naturalist we might lose touch with the wonder around us to our own detriment.

Some of you might find the article linked above ("Natural History's Place in Science and Society") to be of some interest.
 

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phrehdd

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Oct 25, 2008
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I wonder how many airliners didn't crash because passenger pigeons are extinct?
Yes it makes so much sense what you say - an entire species must be wiped out to avoid plane crashes. What next? sigh
 

DUCKofD3ATH

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http://www.unep.org/wed/2010/english/biodiversity.asp

It's widely known. Just type "how many species become extinct each day" into google.
It's amazing the nonsense people swallow. From your cite:

Scientists have no clear idea of how many species...live on earth.

Scientists estimate that between 150 and 200 species of life become extinct every 24 hours.
"Scientists" have no idea how many species there are, but "scientists" know how many have disappeared? Doesn't that strike you as absurd?
 

Meister

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It's amazing the nonsense people swallow. From your cite:
"Scientists" have no idea how many species there are, but "scientists" know how many have disappeared? Doesn't that strike you as absurd?
Your post makes no sense to me.
 

mobilehaathi

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It's amazing the nonsense people swallow. From your cite:



"Scientists" have no idea how many species there are, but "scientists" know how many have disappeared? Doesn't that strike you as absurd?
Surely you realize one can estimate rates of decline without knowing full census numbers? Why put scientists in quotes? Do you have reason to question their qualifications? Do you have any real critique or does your limited understanding of the field leave you with only your prior prejudices?
 

DUCKofD3ATH

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Surely you realize one can estimate rates of decline without knowing full census numbers?
Of course. But what is the basis for the claimed disappearances? I was unable to find the relevant papers or research. It sounds like numbers made up for an eye-catching headline.

Supposedly we've identified barely two percent of the species, how could they know that? It all sounds like the wildest guesswork.

So what happens, do they go through an acre of land and do a census of the species to see how many aren't there today that were there yesterday? I doubt it, but even if they did, how do they know the "extinct" species aren't living in the adjacent acre?

Why put scientists in quotes? Do you have reason to question their qualifications?
All I have to go on is that unnamed scientists are cited making extraordinary claims without supporting evidence also being cited. Yes, they could be unqualified to make such claims.

Do you have any real critique or does your limited understanding of the field leave you with only your prior prejudices?
Yes I have a real critique, and I'd be interested in learning how those incredible numbers were arrived at.
 

mobilehaathi

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Of course. But what is the basis for the claimed disappearances? I was unable to find the relevant papers or research. It sounds like numbers made up for an eye-catching headline.

Supposedly we've identified barely two percent of the species, how could they know that? It all sounds like the wildest guesswork.

So what happens, do they go through an acre of land and do a census of the species to see how many aren't there today that were there yesterday? I doubt it, but even if they did, how do they know the "extinct" species aren't living in the adjacent acre?



All I have to go on is that unnamed scientists are cited making extraordinary claims without supporting evidence also being cited. Yes, they could be unqualified to make such claims.



Yes I have a real critique, and I'd be interested in learning how those incredible numbers were arrived at.
In this very thread there is a link to a review article which will have plenty of references to start your new learning adventure!
 

DUCKofD3ATH

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In this very thread there is a link to a review article which will have plenty of references to start your new learning adventure!
I already found this one that proves my very point:

Biodiversity loss: How accurate are the numbers?

Recently, however, that model has been attacked in the pages of Nature. Professor Stephen Hubbell from the University of California, Los Angeles, says that an error in the model means that it has - for years - over-estimated the rate of species loss.
 

DUCKofD3ATH

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So your bone is with model error? Are you just cranky about precision or something greater?
What, you're not grateful to me for disabusing you from a flawed notion? I'm shocked.

So what we know is that the method for estimating how many species are going extinct daily is seriously flawed. So the numbers aren't reliable.

Which was my original point.
 

chabig

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"Scientists" have no idea how many species there are, but "scientists" know how many have disappeared? Doesn't that strike you as absurd?
Not to mention that new species are created every day. They don't ever mention that.